My motorbike trip through New Zealand feels like a lifetime ago, but it has only been THREE WEEKS. Sometimes I think I am living life too fast. But how do you slow down? Time flies, unfortunately, and especially when you are having fun. I don’t want to slow down on the fun, but I do want to enjoy it longer, I haven’t figured out how to handle this. If anyone knows the answer, please enlighten me!
But let’s focus on those good motorbike times. Before you think – wow what a badass chick, she rides a big motorbike – STOP. I am just the passenger, I happily sit in the back and hold on to my man, as described in many stereotypes. I do hope I get a tiny bit of badass points, ’cause we do go fast, I do need to focus to not fall asleep in the back (yes, this is possible) and we ride a Royal Enfield.
My driver-and-more Nico and I fell in love with Royal Enfields during our travels in India. Having one now in New Zealand is amazing and anywhere he drives Nico gets lost of attention of people older than 50 and the male Indian community. So people, when you plan to buy motorbike to attract some pretty women, DON’T buy a Royal Enfield.
The plan this time was travelling 16 days around the South Island. My mum and her partner were visiting, so we made the perfect tour for a short timeframe (this detailed itinerary will follow later).
One word: PERFECT! The weather was amazing, only the very last day we were driving in the rain. People: don’t get your hopes up if you visit New Zealand. This is NOT typical weather for this country 🙂
What I loved about this trip, apart from the amazing weather and company, is that I drove on roads I’ve been many times before and saw them in such a different light. When I travel by car, I don’t always pay enough attention. For example the road Christchurch-Wanaka, I’ve done it so many times, that I don’t look around anymore (shame on me!). Being on the motorbike (and especially being in the back) forces you to open your eyes and intensely take in the scenery. I asked Nico a couple of times: “have we driven here before?” The answer was always yes. It’s such a cool feeling to experience a road in a new way.
We covered a big part of the island in only 16 days, this is definitely not enough, but it is good enough to see how beautiful New Zealand is – as if we didn’t know that yet 😉
Because it is impossible to tell you every detail of the trip (or this would be the longest blogpost ever), I will share some of the highlights.
Sheep, wine and sunsets
First of al it was amazing to have (a part of) my family there. I loved and will treasure all the cosy dinners and ‘cheers’ we did, and it were many. Being in a country you love, with people you love is a great feeling.
One of those cosy dinners we had was on a sheep farm. We decided to spend the night in Oamara (a place where we usually just pass through) and that was a good choice.
Our place for the night: Buscot Station, a hostel/sheep farm in the countryside. Of course there were three cute sheep who escaped and I immediately saw my chance to show my love. That night existed of a lot of wine, lamb (the never ending dilemma) and an unexpected cool sunset!
Picnic with a view
We spent two days in Queenstown and one evening we decided to do something different than hitting the restaurants and bars – as most tourists do in Queenstown. We went up the Gondola, our bags packed with wine, cheese, bread and dips. When all the tourists started to go down, we took out our nibbles and filled the table. The last tourists who were leaving were smiling at us. I could see them thinking: “Damn, that’s a cool idea”. Or they were just jealous of our glasses of wine.
Also, when you are up there, ride the Luge, those little carts. I know it is super touristy, but it is so fun. I convinced the guys to join me on the Luge – it was their first time and they loved it. It was my second time and I loved it. You feel like kid, racing (although this is not allowed ssst…) and cutting each other off. SO.MUCH.FUN.
Afterwards a good picnic with a view made it a really cool simple evening!
West coast best coast
Sorry east coasters, but I agree with this slogan. The west coast of New Zealand is so rugged, so real, so bushy and green and so different. We made quite a few stops (Fox Glacier, Frans Jozef, Hokitika, …), but there’s only 2 stops I will talk about now.
When you ever find yourself at the NZ west coast, make a stop in Punakaiki. It is a tiny tiny town (as there are many in NZ), with no ATM and no supermarket. But there is a bar and a cool beach hostel! What do you need more?
You can have a stroll along the Pancake Rocks, very touristic, but it’s quite nice to have a look. It’s not mind blowing, but water blowing… (Ok, sorry). There are blowholes that are quite cool to see (and the rocks are a bit weird too). Also, go and check out the cave you find 200 meters further up the road of the Pancake Rocks (on your right). Bring your head torches!
To finish a nice day we got rewarded with a sunset on the beach. Living in Christchurch, we never see the sun disappear in the ocean. So every time we’re at the west coast, we deeply enjoy a good romantic sunset.
An hour up the road north was our next stop – the best NZ backpacker ever: The Old Slaughter House. This backpacker conquered a little place in my heart, so this one deserves a separate blog post later on.
To keep it short: awesome spot, awesome owner, awesome accommodation and awesome views. I know I overused the word awesome there, but wait until you read my blog post about this hostel – you’ll agree.
Good bye 2015!
You know those days that everything just feel right? Everything goes easy, everyone is happy and you realise life is good (not that we needed extra convincing on that part). Well, we had a day like that on Warariki Beach, in Golden Bay.
It was 31st of December, our last day of 2015 and we spent it on the beach. For my family it was something totally new, spending the last day of the year on the beach, they loved it. The cool thing about Wharariki Beach is when the tide is changing, you can walk to another beach on the left. We were there when it was still a bit high tide, but the water was already getting lower, so we were able to walk through the water around some rocks to the other beach. There are also huge rocks you can enter and explore. It is such a cool spot! Have fun, play in the water and dunes and spot some seals!
This one is high on Nico’s and mine list to go back and take some cool sunset photos. We will probably camp on the other beach, and let the high tide ‘trap’ us until the next day. Everything for some cool shots – and it’s just fun!
This post turned out a bit longer than I intended to, but I think I managed to give you an idea how my first New Zealand motorbike trip was, the first one of many.. And now it’s back-to-business time again, as most of you guys. But that’s not too bad in New Zealand, I’m already planning new adventures and living in New Zealand actually feels like a holiday. Don’t you agree?